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Lifehack Presents: The Path Mini User Guide

Lifehack Presents: The Path Mini User Guide

    Sick of the massiveness and lack of intimacy on the larger social networks (ie Facebook, Google+, and Twitter)? Looking for a way to share with who you want and not have your entire life story in the lime-light?

    This is where the “newish” social network Path comes in.

    The premise

    Path is a “smart journal that helps you share life with the ones you love”. It’s based on the concept of Professor Robin Dunbar’s research regarding the number of trusted relationships that one can maintain which is believed to be 150. That means you can only have 150 friends on Path making it feel way more intimate and “exclusive” than other networks. Something else that adds to this feeling is that Path is only available for iPhone and Android.

    Sign up and interface

    Signing up for Path is as easy as any other service. Download the iPhone or Android app and then create an account with your email and password.

      The Path’s “Home” presents you with a timeline of your friends, a small avatar of yourself that will take you to your own timeline, a “Customize” block behind your avatar where you can choose your own photo, the “Chooser” that you can use to post your photos, videos, location, etc., and buttons to get to your left and right menus (you can also swipe left or right to get to your settings or friend menus).

      Adding friends

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        To add new friends swipe left and tap the “Add Friends” option. Once there, you can add friends by inviting from your contact list, searching Facebook, inviting them via email, or even choose some of the “Suggestions”. Suggestions are friends of friends.

        You can also search Path for people via the search box at the top of the “Add Friends” screen.

        Settings

          To get to Path’s settings, swipe right from “Home” and choose “Settings”.

          You can choose whether you want the “Neighborhood” setting on which updates your Path automatically when you change location. You can set all of your identification as well as you bio picture and home “Cover”. Also, you can control your notifications of Path events by tapping and highlighting either the phone or email symbol to control where you see your notifications.

            Sharing

            Sharing on Path is easy and probably one of the biggest reasons people love it. You share by tapping the “Chooser” button on the bottom left and then choosing one of the pop-out options below.

             

            Pictures and videos

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              In the picture sharing screen you can choose what type of photo “lens” you want to use by tapping “Lens” and then scrolling through the different effects. Also, you can tap the blur button to the bottom left to create a circular or line blur in your picture. With the blur option on, you can drag the center of it around as well as re-size it with pinching and zooming.

              There are other standard camera controls like auto or manual flash, flipping the camera from front to rear, touch focus, a select video or photo button at the bottom left, and the video and camera toggle at the bottom right.

              People

              Choosing the people option gives you a list of your friends and contacts. You can then choose one or more and hit the next button at the top right. At the “Post” screen, you can fill in a note and even your location (location details are below).

              You will also notice at the bottom right you have some social network toggles for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare. To sign into these services simply click on the service you want to post to and then connect your account. For sharing on Foursquare you will need to pick a location first.

              You will also notice at the bottom of the “Post” screen a small padlock. This allows you to make your post private meaning that only you will have access to it.

              Places

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                Tapping on places will give you a map with all the nearby places (at least the ones that have been shared or are register with Google Maps). You then simply pick a place and you will be forwarded to the Post screen.

                A nice touch to the “Places” option is that if you are somewhere that isn’t listed automatically you can use the search box and then click the “Not Found?” option to create it. If you don’t see the options just scroll all the way to the bottom of the list to find it.

                  Music

                  One of my favorites. Choose “Music” and then search for whatever you are listening to. You can even tap the small play button on the album cover of the search results to hear the song. After choosing the song you are directed to the Post screen to finish up.

                  Thought

                  Type in whatever you are thinking or want to say. After that you can do the usual Post screen behavior and then post by tapping “Save”.

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                  Sleep/Wake

                    Another nice touch. Tapping the small moon button gives you two choices; “Go to Sleep” and “I’m Awake”. Tap on the sleep button and you are given a nice moon screen that displays how long you slept for. Tapping on the I’m Awake button posts to your Path how long you slept for and a sometimes squirrelly little message.

                    Commenting

                      After you start creating some moments on Path and see other moment from your friends, you will want to comment. Commenting is easy. Tap the small smiley face next to the moment you want to comment on. You can then pick a smiley and leave a comment by tapping the Comment box. You’ll notice that if many people saw this moment that you can scroll through their avatars to see them all.

                      Locals

                      When someone posts their location you can tap on it. You will then be taken to the “Locals” screen which will tell you the number of people on Path that are in your general vicinity as well as show you the list of your friends that are there too. This is a cool way to see who in your “trusted Path network” is around you.

                      Conclusion

                      The beauty of Path is that it is easy and intuitive to use as well as beautiful. Also, because of features like making certain posts private you can use Path for more than just sharing things with your close friends and loved ones; you can keep things that only you want to have access to. Hopefully this short guide can get you started with one of the newest and freshest social networks around.

                      More by this author

                      CM Smith

                      A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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                      Last Updated on November 3, 2020

                      20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

                      20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

                      Whether you use your Mac for work or just for your personal projects, you’ve likely found yourself wondering how to improve your productivity. There are only so many hours in a day, and so much mental stamina you can muster before you run out.

                      There are dozens of tricks you can use to improve your own productivity and outlook, but if you’re looking for a more objective, comprehensive fix, the best thing to do is equip your Mac with productivity apps designed to help you do more in less time.

                      This Lifehack-exclusive list has some of the best productivity apps to help you feel less tired, improve your energy, and ultimately help you get more done every day.

                      What Makes For the Best Productivity Apps?

                      Beyond productivity tips, there are dozens of productivity apps to choose from too. With that in mind, here are some of the core aspects of ideal productivity apps that have formed this list.

                      • Non-intrusive – you want a productivity app to weave seamlessly into your workflow and not cause disruptions. From using the app to the overall display, it shouldn’t cause any interruptions.
                      • Good interface – Again, you want to be able to use these apps easily and have them benefit you. The easier you can navigate around these apps, the better.
                      • Fair pricing – Many of these have free trials that allow you a good chance to test before you buy. If you do decide to pay for it, the monthly pricing plans should be reasonable for what you are getting.

                      1. Todoist

                        Available for all iOS devices, Todoist is a note-taking and organization app that can keep you on top of all your projects—both personal and professional.

                        Its best features are all free to use, including browser extensions, task creation, and interactive boards you can use to organize all your notes.

                        If you want to pay the optional $29 yearly fee, you can get even more advanced features like backups and automatic reminders. Even with the free version, you’ll stay far more organized.

                        Download: Todoist

                        2. 1Password

                          You may not realize it, but you probably spend a ton of time recalling your passwords, especially if and when you forget one to an app you use on a regular basis.

                          1Password is an app for Mac that saves and remembers all your passwords for you in one place, so you can access all your favorite sites with a single click.

                          You’ll save time and keep all your accounts secure simultaneously. A personal plan is $2.99 per month.

                          Download: 1Password

                          3. Bear

                            Bear is a unique kind of note-taking app designed to make it easier for Mac users to jot down notes on the go. With it, you can create to-do lists, give yourself reminders, and outline concepts for future brainstorming sessions.

                            It comes with many different inline styles so you can customize your notes to your personal preferences, and remember the context in which you wrote them. The core version is free, with a $14.99 per year version available as well.

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                            Download: Bear

                            4. Hazel

                              Hazel by noodlesoft is an automated organization tool designed for Mac that will help you automatically organize your files based on any custom rules you want to create.

                              For example, you can set it to move untouched items from one folder into another folder labeled “action items” if they haven’t been addressed within a week. It can save you hours of organization over the course of a few weeks. A single license is a flat $32.

                              Download: noodlesoft

                              5. Alfred

                                Alfred is an all-in-one app designed to save you time with Mac shortcuts and convenient custom actions. You can use it in a variety of ways.

                                For example, you can access Alfred’s clipboard memory so you don’t copy and paste the same material over and over, or set up custom workflows to automate some of your most repetitive tasks.

                                It’s a paid app, with multiple price points based on the features you desire.

                                Download: Alfred

                                6. TextExpander

                                  TextExpander does exactly what the name suggests; it allows you to type a short snippet of text, and expand that text automatically.

                                  For example, you can create a custom expansion that allows you to conjure a full paragraph you type repeatedly by simply typing a unique abbreviation. Once you get used to your custom combinations, you’ll spare your fingers from typing thousands of words.

                                  An individual account is $3.33 per month.

                                  Download: TextExpander

                                  7. Backblaze

                                    If you’ve ever experienced a crash, or theft of your Mac, you know how much time a system restore can cost you. You’ll spend hours replacing the files you lost, and lose thousands of files that are irreplaceable.

                                    Backblaze is an automated, inexpensive way to back up your entire Mac for just $5 a month.

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                                    Download: Backblaze

                                    8. Keyboard Maestro

                                      Keyboard Maestro is an older app that still has the power to make your life easier. With it, you can automate any number of tasks based on a certain trigger (such as a hotkey combination, or an event like connecting to a wireless network). A single license only costs $36.

                                      Download: Keyboard Maestro

                                      9. Snagit

                                        There are many applications for a good screen-capture app, whether you’re trying to illustrate a tech problem you have or just want to make an interesting meme. Snagit makes it easy, with built-in editing for both still images and video. A single license covers two machines, and costs $49.95.

                                        Download: TechSmith/Snagit

                                        10. Bartender

                                          Bartender is the cleverly-named app that helps you clean up and organize all your menu bar icons. You can also access them quickly with keyboard shortcuts.

                                          If you’re like most Mac users, those icons get cluttered quickly and stop you from working efficiently. It’s free to try for 4 weeks, after which you’ll need a $15 license.

                                          Download: Bartender

                                          11. Otter

                                          Otter is the Mac app for the note taker who hates typing. It’s an intelligent voice-recognition system and note-taking app that will help you transcribe your conversations, keep notes during meetings, and even take contextual notes to yourself in your own time.

                                          Best of all, it’s free to get started!

                                          Download: Otter

                                          12. Flux

                                            Do you often find yourself feeling tired throughout the day, or feeling unable to get to sleep after a day of staring at your computer? That could be because of the unnatural blue light that radiates from your Mac.

                                            Flux naturally adapts your display to emit light that matches the time of day, so you can sleep better and feel less tired. It’s also free!

                                            Download: Flux

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                                            13. PDFpen

                                            If you deal with PDFs on a regular basis, you probably find yourself wishing for some kind of tool that can let you mark up those PDFs however you want. Without a dedicated app like PDFpen, this can be difficult.

                                            PDFpen lets you edit PDFs in almost any conceivable way, giving you more power and saving you time. A single license is $74.95.

                                            Download: Smile Software/PDFpen

                                            14. OmniFocus

                                              OmniFocus is all about task management. It has a clean interface that allows you to tag your tasks, schedule events, and even automate certain features.

                                              It’s one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market, so there’s a bit of a learning curve to get the most out of it.

                                              A standard license is $39.99, while the pro version is $79.99.

                                              Download: OmniFocus

                                              15. Franz

                                                It’s tiring to switch between dozens of different chat programs like Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WhatsApp, whenever you want to have a conversation with a different contact.

                                                Franz’s solution is simple; offer access to all these apps in one convenient package. And best of all, it’s completely open source.

                                                Download: Franz

                                                16. MindNode

                                                  If you’re the brainstorming type, you need an app like MindNode to help you efficiently organize your thoughts. There are dozens of tools you can use to connect ideas in a mind map, or simply jot down notes for future reference.

                                                  The core app is free, with in-app purchases available.

                                                  Download: MindNode

                                                  17. Focus

                                                    The internet is a wonderful thing, but it can be awfully distracting. And if you’re like the majority of us, you’ve interrupted work on a project because of some attention-grabbing site or bad online habit. That’s where Focus comes in.

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                                                    This app allows you to block the worst offenders with custom time limits and other constraints, so you can focus on the task at hand. A single license is $19.99.

                                                    Download: Focus

                                                    18. CleanMyMac

                                                      Chances are, your Mac isn’t working as fast as it could, thanks to gigabytes of clutter and unnecessary files on your system. CleanMyMac helps you scan your Mac, monitor its health, and ultimately clean it up—so you can handle all your tasks that extra bit faster. A single license is $39.95.

                                                      Download: CleanMyMac

                                                      19. Grammarly

                                                        A spelling error or grammatical mistake can cost you big time. It could be the source of a worse grade on a big paper, or compromise your credibility in the workplace. Thankfully, Grammarly can help you.

                                                        This Mac-integrated writing assistant monitors all your writing and makes live corrections, so you’re alerted to your potential mistakes before they become permanent.

                                                        A free version exists, but the premium version will cost you between $11 and $30 a month, depending on how you pay.

                                                        Download: Grammarly

                                                        Focus To Do

                                                          Focus to-do is one of the top productivity apps for your iPhone around. It even has a desktop client that you can connect to effortlessly. The app is built around two things: the Pomodoro technique and task management. It achieves these things with amazing balance. All that you have to do is create a task and then set the timer right within the app itself.

                                                          There is also great flexibility with the Pomodoro technique as well. You can choose whether to take a 5 minute break, take a longer one, or even skip it. On the task management side, you can also create reoccurring tasks, reminders, and place a priority on tasks too.

                                                          Download: Focus To Do

                                                          The Bottom Line

                                                          These productivity apps should help you squeeze more productive hours out of every day, but they aren’t the only tools you’ll have to help you find success.

                                                          Make the time to learn about and experiment with all the life hacks that can make you more productive. By improving your devices as well as your outlook and focus, you’ll be able to get far more done in a day, and feel better doing it.

                                                          More to Boost Productivity

                                                          Featured photo credit: Patrick Ward via unsplash.com

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